ATA 2018: Top New Crossbows
January 13, 2018
Here is a brief overview of some of the hot new crossbows for 2018
Mission went all out this year, launching Mission Crossbows as a new brand identity, separate from Mission Archery, and introducing an entirely new crossbow platform. The goal of CEO and chief engineer, Matt McPherson and his engineering team was to improve crossbows in every category. The result was the SUB-1, so named for its ability to consistently deliver groups less than 1 inch at 100 yards. Accuracy is enhanced through a high let-off, fully synced Sync X Cam system that eliminates horizontal nock travel, a patented CNC-machined rail that eliminates vertical nock travel and an RSD (Removable Silent Draw) system designed to apply equal tension to each side of the bowstring during draw. The RSD also drastically reduces effort required to cock the bow's 200 pounds of draw weight. Fit and feel are improved with a precision "rifle-inspired" stock that allows for six different length-of-pull adjustments and 1-1/4 inches of adjustment in the comb, as well as a contoured pistol grip. the SUB-1 also features an innovative trigger system that has the ability to safely de-cock without firing a bolt or disengaging the trigger.
Bigger isn't always better, particularly when it comes to crossbows. At just 6 inches wide, the Stealth NXT headlines TenPoint's next generation of high performance bows. But don't let the size fool you. The NXT bow assembly featuring Vector Quad cable technology, DUAL FLEX limbs and XR6 cams in a newly designed, maximum rotation cam system combine to generate 144 foot-pounds of kinetic energy and produce arrow speeds up to 410 fps. Meanwhile, the assembly's revolutionary Vector Quad cable technology utilizes four cables instead of the traditional two for increased strength and stability, and also balances torsion and tension to eliminate cam lean and provide pin-point accuracy. Other noteworthy features include: CX5 connection system wherein the riser attaches to the barrel in five different locations to prevent front-end movement and enhance accuracy; a TAC-LITE aluminum barrel that dramatically reduces weight, noise, and vibration and a lightweight, three-piece C3 stock molded from carbon-fiber-infused PolyOne OnForce also designed to reduce weight, noise and vibration while also allowing cheek height and length-of-pull adjustments Double-dip fluid imaged in True Timber Viper Western camo, the Stealth NXT ships completely assembled as a Standard or an Elite package. Standard package includes the ACUdraw Pro, ACUdraw, or ACUdraw 50 SLED, RangeMaster Pro Scope, 3-pack of EVO-X CenterPunch premium carbon arrows, integrated string stop system and a quiver. Elite package includes the ACUdraw Pro, Evo-X Marksman Scope, TenPoint STAG Hard Crossbow Case, 3-pack of EVO-X CenterPunch premium carbon arrows, integrated string stop system and a quiver.
MSRP: Standard Package $1,449.99 with ACUdraw 50 SLED, $1,499.99 with ACUdraw, $1,599.99 with ACUdraw Pro. Elite Package $1,799.99 with ACUdraw Pro
PSE has a well-deserved reputation for using their own technology to push speed limits with both compounds and crossbows, a prime example being their groundbreaking TAC models. In keeping with that theme, the Thrive 400 utilizes reverse cam technology, combined with proven PSE limb, string and cable technology to achieve a 400 FPS rating. It also features a Soft Touch grip and cheek rest and new rubber-coated folding foot stirrup that provides a stand and shortens the overall length for storage. An upgraded accessory package includes five-arrow quiver, four 22-inch Carbon Thunder arrows with 100-grain bullet points, a 22-inch discharge bolt, string stops a 4x32 illuminated multi-reticle scope, limb bands, cocking rope and rail lube.
Among the more noteworthy features of Excalibur's 360-fps Assassin is an integrated silent Charger cranking system. It allows for quiet, fast and easy loading and unloading, virtually eliminating draw weight concerns by reducing its 285 pounds of draw weight to a mere 12 pounds, while also guaranteeing perfect string alignment for improved accuracy. Meanwhile, a True-Fit stock affords custom length-of-pull adjustment while a modest 15-inch power stroke and 21-inch cocked width enhance maneuverability. And, Roller Catch trigger technology ensures an even, consistent break on the two-stage trigger. And, R.E.D.S. Suppressors, Air Brakes and patented Sound Deadening System reduce the noise level by a reported 25 percent.
CAMX bows are known for their durability accuracy, and this one shows they continue to step up their game. The A4's namesake suspension system uses a patent-pending inboard cam system with a unique swing arm design that completely protects cams, reduces felt shock to nearly zero and produces a more consistently accurate shot, all while delivering speeds of 370 fps. A three-layer laminated split-limb design covers all exposed fibers while ballistic nylon tips protect limb ends. Meanwhile, the Pivoting Arrow Retention (P.A.R.) system provides consistent pressure on the arrow preventing it from becoming loose and falling out, allows the shooter to let down manually with one hand and works in concert with the CAMX Lo-Drag Fire Control Trigger as an ADF mechanism. And, patented Thumbsaver technology protects the shooter's forehand without restriction for the full travel path of the string. The A4 comes pre-sighted at the factory from 10 to 100 yards with four Accuspine arrows and field points, CAMX's Wishbone patented quiver and a rope cocking aid, in Realtree Max-1, Mossy Oak Treestand or Ninja Black.
Despite setting the bar at a seemingly insurmountable height last year, Ravin somehow managed to produce even greater downrange accuracy and speed with this year's R20 Sniper Package. Like all Ravin crossbows, it features patented HeliCoil technology, which coils cables away from both the top and bottom of the cams in helical grooves, allowing the cams to rotate nearly 340 degrees while remaining perfectly level, dramatically increasing accuracy. Additionally, Ravin's Frictionless Flight System eliminates friction that might otherwise rob the arrow of speed and a consistent launch profile, while also producing a quieter shot, improving string life and providing better vane clearance for precise downrange accuracy. The exclusive built-in Trac-Trigger firing system slides forward on the rail clasping directly to the precise center of the string every time the bow is drawn, allowing for straight-line nock travel and a perfectly balanced draw. And the compact, ambidextrous Versa-Draw Cocking System is integrated into the stock and provides the ability for simple cocking just 12 pounds of draw force and uncocking without having to fire the crossbow. Ravin's fastest and most powerful crossbow to date, the R20's meager 13-inch power stroke sends arrows at 430 FPS with a punishing 164-foot pounds of KE, while boasting a meager 6-inch axle-to-axle width when fully drawn. The R20 comes in Predator camouflage or Gunmetal Grey. Sniper Package includes: six Ravin arrows with exclusive Ravin nocks and field points, Ravin quiver and mounting bracket, Versa-Draw cocking handle, built-in sling mounts and a custom Vortex Strike Eagle scope that mounts to a revolutionary adjustable jack plate and riser level that allows shooters so dial in exact yardage from 20 to 200 yards.
MSRP: R10 $1,649.99 Predator camo; $1,549.99 gunmetal grey. R20 $2,149.99 Predator camo; $2049.99 gunmetal grey. R20 Sniper $2,549.99-$2,649.99 (available spring 2018)
Sitting atop a field of seven elite crossbows in their expanded CarbonliteTM Series for 2018, the Predator is Barnett's fastest and most powerful crossbow yet. Featuring a full carbon step-through riser, one-off ventilated composite stock and a machined aluminum flight track, the lightweight Predator combines a 187-pound draw weight with a deep, 16.25-inch power stroke to generate speeds up to 430 feet per second and a punishing 156 foot-pounds of kinetic energy.
The step-through CarbonliteM riser and RUCS (Retractable Underarm Counter-Balance Support) System effectively shifts 53 percent of the overall weight back toward the shooter for greatly improved handling and balance, while the RUCS employs a clever foldable arm that extends from the stock and hooks under the user's arm to provide maximum stability. The end result is drastically improved accuracy. Other features include Barnett's premium 1.5-5 x 32mm illuminated scope, a crisp, three-pound TriggerTech trigger system with Frictionless Release Technology, string dampeners, a rubber butt pad, pass-through foregrip, four Picatinny rails and a streamlined side-mount quiver that detaches with the simple press of a button.